Tuesday, April 03, 2012

This Could Be a Disaster

Photo: Alejandro Valdez, Flickr Creative Commons

I've really sucked at sticking to my triathlon training plan this spring, and by suck, I mean really suck. For example, last week I was supposed to have a total of 77 minutes in the pool, 233 minutes on my bike, and 92 minutes of running. I managed to squeeze in 78 minutes of swimming, 54 minutes on the bike, and 81 running. I'm pretty happy to realize as I wrote this that I'm not doing too bad with my swimming and running, although I already knew this was probably my best week so far, but the damned bike is killing me. I'm not willing to go out in low light because there are no dedicated bike paths where I live. I'm entirely riding country roads. With tennis and a new baby in the house, my ability to get in a 20+ mile ride on a weekday, especially when I often have to get a run or swim in on the same day, has been difficult, to say the least.

And I'm going to be honest. The tennis coaching thing is being more of a bitch about this than the baby. The baby isn't really causing too many problems as she seems less demanding than my son was, my wife isn't working until the fall semester, and she generally supports my athletic endeavors. The wife. Not the baby. The baby doesn't give a crap as long as she's fed and she's lying on something warm and with a heartbeat. It's gotten to the point that I've had guilty fantasies that neither of my teams make the playoffs just so I can have more time to train. At this point, I only have 2 and a half months to finish preparing for my first Olympic-distance event and if the boys team, which is likely to go farther in the playoffs, manages to drag this out, I could conceivably have only a month to really focus on training. While this year's training plan has made me second-guess my original plans of completing a half Iron Man next year and an Iron Man the year after that, I know for sure that I'd have to resign from my coaching position if I had any hope of succeeding.

The title of today's post also refers to my next goal in sports fandom. Remember back in the fall when I talked about choosing a new hockey team to follow after the Thrashers left Atlanta to be the Jets in Winnipeg? I ended up going with Chicago as my new team and it's generally been a successful experiment. Early on I had trouble when they played Winnipeg or against teams who took players from the Thrashers recently of falling into cheering for familiar names, but as the season has wound down, I find myself defaulting to the 'Hawks even when they're playing Winnipeg. I think it's safe to say that the 'Hawks are officially the only sports team from Georgia that I care about outside of the New Zealand All Blacks (rugby union). Sure, it helps that the team has been good this year and will be in the playoffs (possibly even with home ice in the first round), but I was able to maintain interest even during that disastrous stretch between January 2 and February 14 when they went 5-11-3, including a 9-game losing streak.

The Great Hockey Fandom Experiment of '11-'12 has been a success, but summer's getting here and the playoffs won't last forever, even if the 'Hawks end up hoisting the Stanley Cup. I need a summer sport and baseball's still too slow for me. I've decided I'm going to try giving soccer another chance. I'm going to see if I can work out a way to follow the Portland Timbers this year. I saw part of their season opener and was amazed by the atmosphere created by the Timbers Army in Jeld-Wen Stadium. Fan enthusiasm is what hooked me with the All Blacks, so it'll be the likely hook for me with the MLS. The main problem is catching the games. I was worried about this with the Blackhawks, but I was able to record the replay of the each game in the wee hours after the live game on my regional sports channels and was probably able to follow 3/4 of the games this season. From an early look at the TV schedule, I think I can do the same with Portland. We'll see how this works. It's possible that I'm just to old to get soccer. Maybe you have to be infected as a kid for this sport.


Julie said...

Would it really be a bad thing to drop the coaching gig? If it's not that interesting to you anymore, I vote you remove it from your schedule.

Courtney said...

Yeah, I hope you don't have to make a choice between coaching tennis and training for the triathlon, but if you do, it sounds like triathlon is what you want to be doing.

Sid said...

Congrats on the new baby girl. Wanted to email you to ask if she'd arrived. Anyhoo, just had to say that before I continued reading the rest of the article.